By TIM CLEVELAND
On June 7, Fellows Riverside Gardens opened up its Family Garden to the public for Family Day.
“We wanted to let the children meet the Family Garden and come to the Family Garden at the beginning of the summer,” said MetroParks educator Lori Mowad. “Every Friday we have Family Garden Fridays from 11-1 and the kids get a plant every week. They learn to harvest, they learn to plant things, they learn to cook with the vegetables that we grow. They learn about the plants and it’s a great way to start the summer off. It’s a great free family event.”
The Family Day had an Alice in Wonderland theme. There were many activities going on throughout the Family Garden, including a beekeeper, a pollinator talking about butterflies, making Mad Hatter hats with Giant Eagle, making planter boxes with Home Depot, the Daliah Society letting children plant Daliahs to take home, playing croquet in the Long Mall, learning about white rabbits, where a rabbit lives and its habitats, making fairy music instruments, trying all different types of teas, making small tea cups out of ice cream cones filled with fresh fruit with Giant Eagle and IGA.
Mowad said there is an effort to educate children in another way as well.
“We’re trying to teach the children to eat healthy,” she said. “Learn where their food comes from, that it doesn’t come from the grocery store, it comes from the ground.”
Struthers’ Dave Bowes and his wife Ashley attended along with their son Davey.
“My wife is nuts about the Mad Hatter,” Dave said.
“I found about this event on Facebook,” Ashley said. “My friend posted the event flier. We had seen this new setup and we were really excited. Then when we found about this event today, I definitely had to bring him out and our friends are coming to meet us too.
“I think it’s awesome.”
Dave said he and his family have been frequent visitors to the Family Garden.
“We’ve been looking at it since they’ve been putting it together,” he said. “It’s kind of been a gradual thing. We’ve been walking through here because we’re waiting for everything to start coming off for the kids to come. We have two other kids we bring with us all the time. It’s really nice.”